Change of plans

Hey, I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Yesterday, after body pump (where I used lighter weights as I had missed 3 weeks I think) my legs were still sore, so I thought I would try a short run as that often helps. Well, I only did 3 miles but whereas usually they loosen during the run, they didn’t at all, so when I got home I got out my yoga mat and did about 15/20 minutes of some of the “Yoga for Runners”. After my shower this was followed with Deep Freeze and some foam rolling.

I had made some breakfast the night before- muesli, chia seeds, almond milk, frozen cherries, almonds, and then I added a little vanilla almond butter. Plus some coconut water (I had some after pump so needed to finish the carton).

Originally Andy and I were going to head up to Norwich for the weekend (he has a ticket to the football) so I was going to head to Parkrun to get my weekend run in before we drove up. But we could not get a hotel, so we decided to go up for the day instead. It has worked out well because I have missed Parkrun (good to give my legs a rest I think) and can do a longer run on Sunday morning. I need to do 6 miles and was going to do that after work on Monday, but it is better to do it at the weekend.

I decided to use my new tea infuser! With peppermint tea.

It drained through before I could take the photo!

Right, off to Norwich- have a lovely weekend ­čÖé

Getting back in to running

So, I have only had a break of about two and a half weeks, and in that time I have done a lot of walking. Most of the time we were at high elevations, so the walking was tougher, and although some walks were nice strolls along board walks, others were hikes in the mountains (including an amazing 10 miler). I knew I was not going to take my running things with me, and knew we would be keeping active so would just start back when I got home.

Well, it has been tougher than I thought!

We got back Monday lunch time, and on Tuesday morning I went out for a gentle run before breakfast. I went faster than I expected, and didn’t have to walk (I thought I might have to)- I did 3 miles and was fine, and when I get home I did a lot of stretching and some foam rolling. But my legs have been very stiff since.

I had some lovely coconut water as soon as I got back, and then saved my breakfast until after my shower – muesli, chia seeds and soya milk with some berries.

I knew that sitting around would make me stiffer, so I tried to keep busy with unpacking, washing and so on, and popped to see my parents (although that did involve mainly sitting in the garden, and looking at their newly hatched bantam chicks!).

While I was tidying I found the tropical black tea I bought last summer!  Lovely hot although I must try it iced too.

On Wednesday I popped to work, and was so tempted to pop to Starbucks on the way home (it was very hot in the car by that point).

I made a home-made chai latte instead- just as refreshing as shop bought (and probably a lot less syrup!).

I had a tea and a larabar for some pre-run energy, as I was heading out with Sweatshop later on. We bought these bars to eat on holiday but never did- they are basically whole nuts and dried fruits bound with syrup and honey. For some reason I thought they would be blended (? processed up?) but everything was left whole so it was a satisfying chunky bar. Although sadly not vegan as they use honey.

I left extra time to get up to Sweatshop as I didn’t want to use all my energy running up there. It was good to have extra time to chat, and then they needed a volunteer to be the back marker as we had a couple of new runners. I was more than happy to offer my services as I knew I would not be running my normal pace. We tackled the dreaded “hill” route, but the guy from the shop ran with the speedy front runners and at several points along the course they had to double back until they reaches us- I prefer it when we do that as then the group does not spread out too much.

I didn’t look at my watch at all but I think from seeing my time at the end it was slower than usual- I found the hill tough, but for the rest of it I felt OK. We had to stop and walk for a few strides a couple of times, but I didn’t mind and knew I might have to as I had offered to be at the back. After we finished I ended up chatting to another girl for ages (probably a good 25 minutes) and by the time we finished and I had to jog back home my legs were feeling so stiff. I am hoping that my legs will remember how to run (or how to recover from running) within the next week as my half marathon training needs to start ramping up again soon.

I was not that hungry after my shower, but knew I would need something so went for a bean burger, a few sweet potato fries (they are on offer in Waitrose at the moment- so exciting!), plus a salad with spinach, cucumber and tomatoes. It took me ages to eat but I knew that I had to otherwise the runger (love that phrase from Claire!) would hit later.

I followed it with some painful foam rolling (once dinner had gone down of course) and then we went to see a late showing of the Alan Partridge film, which I giggled all the way through- some classic moments in there. Although not sure a late night film viewing was the best way to help with the jet lag as I took ages to get to sleep and have been super tired today- I decided some fresh air would help so spent ages at the allotment weeding and chopping.

My legs have still been super achy (although I may be a little impatient seeing as my first run back was only 2 days ago…). It has reminded me of when I first started running- I shall just keep on with stretching and foam rolling. I have booked on to pump this evening so hopefully that will help and not make them worse!

Do you find it hard to get back into a routine after a holiday? I was really looking forward to running again; I think a break does you good, and the actual runs were fine but I wasn’t expecting this much soreness.

Holiday snack food

Hey peeps!

So on Monday night I impressed myself by staying awake until 10pm! I usually do have a little sleep after a night flight, but the combination of sleeping aid tablets (they are not actual sleeping ones, but can make you drowsy- over the counter ones not prescription strength) + sound reducing headphones + eye mask meant that I had some sleep on the plane. I am hoping it carries on. Tuesday morning I went on a 3 mile run, just to check I still could! I went faster than I thought (still 10.30 ish min miles) and felt OK, although as soon as I got home I felt shattered. This morning I went to work, and am planning on the Sweatshop run later.

I found that the new series of the Great British Bake Off has started! I managed to watch episode one on i-player and have the second one waiting for me on the box.

Anyway, one of the great things about holidays is the different food you can have while you are away. We visited some lovely restaurants, including a vegetarian cafe (where you could adapt things to be vegan- they would even sub cashew cheese or avocado for no extra cost!) but that will have to be in another post! Most days we would have breakfast (sometimes from a cafe/ the hotel, or sometimes cereal bars and fruit in our room) and then have snacks during the day (bananas, cereal bars, peanut crackers) and then dinner in the evening, as otherwise it gets expensive plus the portions are rather large. On our first day we were hungry (I think due to jet lag) and shared a pb&j (with fresh raspberry jam) – it was huge and way too much for one person. ┬áSo while I wait for Andy to get all the real photos off the camera, here are the ones I took of our snacks!

At the start of the holiday (the second day) we got the ferry to Victoria, on Vancouver Island in Canada. We had to be at the ferry terminal early (7.30am I think) and it took around 90 minutes.We walked around for a bit, and then saw a tea shop (Murchie’s) that offered all sorts of tea lattes, plus you could have soya or almond milk. I went for a latte with raspberry black tea and a hint of chocolate, and it was gorgeous. We shared the enormous cookie!

This day we had been up early for a big drive (300+ miles) and stopped at a Trader Joe’s, and could not resist this falafel wrap to share- it even came with a little tub of hummus for dipping.

Popchips make great snacks! My faves were the sweet potato ones (Popchips! Please release them in the UK!!), and Andy loves these the most . I took the photo as the bag inflated loads as we drove to higher elevations- not sure if you can really tell but it looked funny to me.

Iced tea! I love it, and usually have just plain unsweetened iced tea if we went out for dinner, but I also love this peach iced tea. It is sweetened with sugar (way better than the high fructose corn syrup in most things in America), but only a little, plus the peach flavour was summery.

Fresh fruit was delicious! Dark sweet cherries, juicy peaches, sweet nectarines and crunchy apples were my favourites, and we often had bananas for when we were out walking. The only problem I find is washing it so often I would buy some but have to wait until we got to a hotel to wash it before I could eat it. Although this does not bother me at home so much.

I got a bit over excited when I found these little hummus pots- this was red pepper hummus with little pretzels to dip in. I had them a couple of times (whenever I saw them basically).

We bought warm fresh pretzels from a German bakery in Leavenworth (the Bavarian town)- Andy had a salted one and I had a plain one- they were huge and lasted us into the next day (although by then they were a bit hard).

And of course we had a few visits to Starbucks (although most of the time we were in the parks so no-where near anything like that)- either we would share a large chai latte, or get a small drink each, but on this occasion there was a mix up (the person ahead took our drink and they gave us a small one instead of a large, they then made us a large one too, instead of giving us another small one to make it up to us)- we didn’t drink them all as that day we had a long drive (400 miles) so could not risk too much drink!

Our B&B in Leavenworth served dessert in the evening, so we sat outside on the decking and enjoyed black forest gateaux with an Earl Grey- perfect.

Also, I was very excited in Denver airport to see a froyo chain (I thought they were called Toby but on googling it seems they are called TCBY) making fro-yo using almond milk, although we didn’t try any. It make make it over here in 5 years!

I got my reminder email about the Marathon Talk Magic Mile- I had forgotten all about that! I think I have until next weekend to run and log my time, although I am not sure when I will do it yet. I want to leave it later so I can get my normal speed back- don’t think I will be breaking any records this year!

Do you watch the Bake Off?

Anyone sign up for the magic mile?


Unpacking the souvenirs

Hey peeps- I am back home after a wonderful holiday- I will cram a post full of photos at some point, but not today! We left Denver yesterday lunch time, arrived in Newark (New York) and had about 3 hours there, before we flew home. The flight was so bumpy, and the headphone socket didn’t work, but that turned out OK as I put on my big headphones and loaded up some film podcasts, put on my eye-mask and managed to doze for a lot of it. We landed just before 10am and were so speedy getting through (even though they did an extra passport check as soon as we got off the plane)- we were home before midday. I usually have a sleep in the day (just for an hour or so) but I felt OK so have pottered about. Mainly unpacking the fun things!

We are a little obsessed with collecting magnets for each place we visit now. We realised too late that we bought 2 of the same style (the old poster styles for both Glacier and Mount Rainier) although at least the shape of the mountains is different (and accurate!). We’re going to need a bigger fridge!

In Victoria in Canada we went to an amazing Coffee/ Tea/ bakery shop called Murchie’s– they did all sorts of tea lattes and you could even have almond milk! There was a shop attached and they had one of those cool tea infusers for much cheaper than I have seen in the UK, so I bought one. It seems to have survived the flights OK!

We also visited David’s Tea (we saw one in Boston but it was closed when we were there)- we tried some amazing iced teas, and I ended up with some black mint loose leaf tea, and a pouch of some amazing smelling apple tea (which you can eat- the lady recommended putting it on porridge once you have brewed the tea). She also gave me some great hints on how to make iced tea, and also how to like green tea (apparently the water should be off the boil, like for coffee, as the boiling water makes it taste bitter, so I might have to have another go at trying it!). It was such a cool shop, with shelves and shelves of massive tins with loose leaf teas- all the flavours and kinds you could image (except black cherry tea).

In Glacier park they used these posh tea temples (Tea forte) which I loved, and when I saw coconut chai latte tea in the shop I had to get a pack!

While wandering around Leavenworth I was given the hard sell on some Chukar cherries (in that she let me try a few samples, and they were amazing)- dried cherries with no preservatives or anything, so I bought one packet coated in dark chocolate, and then one lot flavoured with almond. We found a Trader Joe’s and I bought some coconut chips, and some chocolate for us to have on holiday, but we didn’t have any of it so it came home. Plus pb, and dark pb cups of course.

I also bought non-food related items! Some cute PJ’s (Huckleberries were everywhere- they are similar to blueberries but aren’t cultivated)- they say “I’ll be your Huckle-beary”- we saw lots of bears in Glacier so I thought it was appropriate too. Plus some Huckleberry honey (honey, huckleberry juice and pectin)- I got a bit obsessed with huckleberry flavour things while we were away!

Last but not least, I could not resist the cups. Andy’s one is in the middle, and the other two are mine. The Yellowstone one is a minty green, but that hasn’t come out well. Plus a spoon rest (for when we make tea but the dishwasher is running).

I have had quite a productive day- sorted through the post, hung out one lot of washing, unpacked some bits, and booked a shop for tomorrow.

I feel like my eating has been totally messed up though. Yesterday we had a cereal bar for breakfast before heading to return the car etc, and then at the airport we had an early lunch from Caribou coffee (the huge “Pumpkin season” poster grabbed my attention)-a piece of pumpkin bread and a spiced pumpkin soya latte, plus some fruit salad to eat on the plane. Our flight from Denver was about 4 hours I think but then the time-zone changed from Mountain to Eastern time, so I think it was later than it felt. Or maybe the other way around. Anyway we needed some dinner so bought pb&j’s at the airport, and shared a bag of popchips, and then right before the flight I had a chai latte (two latte’s in one day, not good!) as psychologically it made me sleepy, plus we shared a brownie. I dozed through the food service (and we had not managed to book a veggie meal anyway) but I did have a fruit salad and mini criossant before we landed. When we got home this morning I was starving so had some tea and toast, but I suppose that was really lunch time? I know all the advice is to get back to your normal routine asap, but I think right now it is maybe 8 or 9am back there, and it is coming up to 4pm here, so it is a bit adjustment I suppose.

How have you been? We had internet access in a few places and I have been reading some blogs but I am sure I have missed some things.

How do you cope with jet lag?

Smell the roses

Hey peeps

I hope you are all doing well.

I have been getting a little rose obsessed lately! I have always loved the smell of rose scented bath products, I think I must have had something when I was younger as the smells always take me back. Once I was given a lovely bubble bath from Sephora which smelled so good- I was very sad when I used it all as I could not find it in the shops.

Last year I bought some Rose body conditioner from Lush, and it is wonderful (you use it like a hair conditioner, and after you have washed it off your skin feels so soft and smells lovely)- in the winter when my skin gets dry I shall be getting some more as this has run out now (I am saving my empties for a free face mask!). I keep reading about good rose oil is for your hair too, and so I bought a little travel sized bottle of it to try it out (although it has more almond oil in it than rose oil, I am sure it is still good)- no point in buying a big bottle if I don’t like it. It is very gloopy and smells nice but not that rosy.

I also picked up some rosewater toner (100% organic) from Boots. I usually use Clinique as most other brands have irritated my skin, but this one has so few ingredients (I think 5) and was on offer so I thought it was worth a go. It is very cooling and smells like turkish delight! What’s not to like about that?

I was given this hand cream (along with a handwash smelling just like sweet turkish delight which was finished ages ago) and again, it smells lovely with just a light rose scent.

I actually have some rose tea (black tea with rose petals)- I really must try that as I think it would be quite summery.

Is there a particular flower you like? I love the smell of sweet peas and always take home a bunch from my Mum when she grows them in her garden.